The Optical Noninvasive Monitor

| Apr 1, 1998

Could there be more than beauty in the eye of the beholder? How about an accurate blood glucose reading? That's what Visionary Medical Products Corporation (VMPC) in Carson City, Nevada, is hoping for - a noninvasive test that will determine BG levels through minute blood vessel changes in the retina.

VMPC has recently filed patents for this new technology but now must seek partners to manufacture and develop the noninvasive meter. If they find a suitable corporate partner, "I estimate we could have a working meter on the market in four years," says Tom Castellano, director of VMPC.

How the Monitor Works

The monitor looks like a small pair of high-tech binoculars with a screen that registers the time, date and the user's BG levels. To use the monitor, the user places it up to their face just like a pair of binoculars. The optical monitor will then detect a change in the eyes once the monitor is placed correctly against the face. If the monitor detects a misalignment it will instruct the user to adjust the depth of field or the alignment.

When the monitor is correctly adjusted it will quickly scan the retinas of the user's eyes. The monitor then processes the image and displays the results. These results will also be stored in memory for further analysis. If a test is incomplete the user will be prompted to repeat the test again.

The Technology Behind the Monitor

The retina is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body. Changes to the eye occur in a matter of minutes, and VMPC believes that these changes can be directly related to BG levels using their optical glucose monitor.

The company intends its monitor to be individually tailored for each user. For example, multiple images will be taken of the user's eyes then correlated along with a conventional BG monitor. The results are then stored in the monitor's memory.

When a new image is taken it will be matched to stored images and the differences will help determine the user's glucose level.

The meter, however, will not work on people with diabetes who are blind. "About 75 percent of people with diabetes will be able to use this monitor," says Castellano.

Castellano, who has had type 1 diabetes for 42 years, is hoping that the monitor will sell for under $1,000. While this is a good deal more expensive than current invasive BG meters, Castellano thinks that the meter will pay for itself with the amount of money people will save on strips and lancets. "With this meter you'll be able to test 100 times a day if you want to without worrying about extra costs," he says. "In addition, like most technology, prices will drop as the technology is simplified."

VMPC has the blueprints and the designs ready, still Castellano thinks his company may be in for a long ride until they find the right corporate partner. "I want this meter to be produced immediately - not held back because of politics," he says. "We've had this technology for the last five years. Lets get it out there and make things easier for people with diabetes. That's why I'm in this business."

To learn more about Visionary Medical Products Corporation call (310) 201-0800.

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Meters, Noninvasive Monitors, Type 1 Issues


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